Met Opera on Demand Catalog
(Dec. 17, 1960)
Composer: Richard Wagner
Librettist: Richard Wagner
Solti; Rysanek, Dalis, Hopf, Prey, Hines
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 59 min.
Two major stars made their Met debuts in this sensational performance: conductor Georg Solti and baritone Hermann Prey. Solti brings out all the theatricality and drama of Wagner’s colorful score, leading a top-notch cast. Prey is Wolfram, the kind and sympathetic man who loves the virtuous Elisabeth (an impassioned Leonie Rysanek). But she is in love with the rebellious knight Tannhäuser (Hans Hopf), who cannot forget his lustful time with the goddess Venus (Irene Dalis) and is banished for singing her praises at court. When the Pope himself refuses forgiveness for Tannhäuser’s sins, he faces damnation—until the saintly Elisabeth’s death miraculously redeems his soul.